A new approach to local economic development, which directs wealth back into the local economy and places control and benefits into the hands of local people could be introduced in Dundee.
Councillors will be asked to support implementing the Community Wealth Building model which has a core focus on growing social and environmental benefits in all economic activity.
John Alexander convener of the council’s policy and resources committee said: “We have heard a lot about building back better after Covid, but our engagement with the Community Wealth Building model for Dundee, provides tangible evidence of our commitment to doing that effectively and efficiently.
“With the work that has already been done collectively with major employers in the city supporting initiatives like the Living Wage and other help for lower income families we are already driving towards creating a more equitable Dundee.
Mark Flynn, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee added: “Working in partnership with communities and businesses to build a strong local economy which supports fair work, encourages local spend and uses the land and property we own for the common good is only the start.”
Community Wealth Building (CWB) uses the economic levers available to local authorities and other ‘Anchor Institutions’ such as the NHS, further and higher education institutions, and larger private sector organisations, to support local economies, ensuring that wealth is locally owned and benefits local people.
CWB is about how organisations work individually and with partners, from the goods they buy, the people they employ, the assets they own and the powers they have that can bring about change to maximise local economic opportunities.
A 100-page report by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) outlines how Community Wealth Building could work in Dundee and includes 22 recommendations focussing on the city as a community wealth place, spending, finance, land and property, workforce and inclusive ownership.
The policy and resources committee, which meets on Monday (November 22) will be asked to agree proposed structure and governance arrangements for developing the approach in the council and recommends that a strategy and action plan are prepared and brought back to committee for approval.
Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.